Albania Opposition Leader Renews Call for Vetting Politicians
After boycotting Albania's parliament for around two years, one of the first initiatives of the opposition when it returned in September, after losing the April 25 elections, was vetting politicians.
Opposition Democratic Party leader Lulzim Basha has called for the same vetting procedure to be applied to politicians as to justice officials.
Under the EU-backed Justice Reform process, following constitutional changes, each judge and prosecutor must be vetted by independent structures, while new justice institutions are also being formed.
Democratic chief Basha said in a video shared on his social media profiles on 21 October that vetting politicians would be in the national interest.
"It is in the interest of all ordinary Albanians, both Socialists and Democrats, that politics be cleansed of the sludge of transition, of people who over 30 years … have used politics to get rich illegally and, whats worse, have brought the scum of society, from organized crime, into politics," he said.
"They have destroyed the competition in the market that is the foundation of economic development and employment, empowering a handful of people simply because they share with them favours, privileges, power and money, at the expense of hundreds of thousands of honest entrepreneurs," Basha added.
Afrim Krasniqi, a political expert who runs the Institute for Political Studies, a think tank, told BIRN that vetting politicians would be "a natural process after the justice vetting".
"None of the former MPs or former mayors who lost their mandates due to the law [banning criminals from politics] has been expelled from their political parties; on the contrary, most were active in the last election campaign," he told BIRN
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